Matthew Keys, the social media editor at Reuters, posted audio of a reporter asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney if U.S. bombings that kill innocent civilians in Afghanistan constitute an "act of terror" given the labeling of the Boston Marathon bombing as "terrorism". She specifically refers to a U.S. airstrike earlier this month that killed 11 children, just the latest in a seemingly endless line of Afghan civilian deaths at the hands of the U.S. government.


Carney completely dodged the questions, pointing instead to the 9/11 terrorist attacks to justify U.S. bombings in Afghanistan. After a long-winded answer excusing U.S. conduct, Carney concludes, " we take great care in the prosecution of this war."

Tell me, does this look like "great care" to you?

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© AP Photo/Naimatullah Karyab
The lifeless bodies of Afghan children lay on the ground before their funeral ceremony, after a NATO airstrike killed several Afghan civilians, including ten children during a fierce gun battle with Taliban militants in Shultan, Shigal district, Kunar, eastern Afghanistan, Sunday, April 7, 2013.

I transcribed the exchange in full:
REPORTER: I send my deepest condolence to the victims and families in Boston. But President Obama said that what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask, Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan earlier this month that left 11 children and a woman killed a form of terrorism? Why or why not?

JAY CARNEY: Well, I would have to know more about the incident and then obviously the Department of Defense would have answers to your questions on this matter. We have more than 60,000 U.S. troops involved in a war in Afghanistan, a war that began when the United States was attacked, in an attack that was organized on the soil of Afghanistan by al Qaeda, by Osama bin laden and others and more than 3,000 people were killed in that attack. And it has been the President's objective once he took office to make clear what our goals are in Afghanistan and that is to disrupt, dismantle and ultimately defeat al Qaeda. And with that as our objective to provide enough assistance to Afghan National Security Forces and the Afghan government to allow them to take over security for themselves. And that process is underway and the United States has withdrawn a substantial number of troops and we are in the process of drowning down further as we hand over security lead to Afghan forces. And it is certainly the case that I refer you to the defense department for details that we take great care in the prosecution of this war and we are very mindful of what our objectives are.
At the very least, this serves as another example of the utter meaninglessness of the word "terrorism".

UPDATE: The reporter who asked the question is Amina Ismail, a journalist at McClatchy. I urge you to thank her for asking it (her twitter handle is @AminaIsmail) because I can't imagine it was easy given how extremely rare and frowned upon it is to challenge the dominant "war on terror" narrative, especially as a female reporter with an Arab-sounding name. And Amina, if you're reading this, thanks for kicking ass!